Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Cold Winter's Soup

I haven't really had soup this year. As in, I mean that I have not even had soup once this entire year, as best as I can recall. So when it started to get really cold outside and a facebook friend of mine posted a link to a recipe entitled "Chickpea and Bread Soup," I was thoroughly intrigued and decided it was time I ended my unintentionally anti-soup diet and try it out.

Below you will find my tweaked recipe, taken from this website: Bitchin' Camero

Vegan Chickpea and Bread Soup

oil for frying
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of onion, chopped
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup of sweet dumpling squash, peeled and cut up
1/2 cup of freshly diced tomatoes
3 cups of vegetable broth
sage, thyme, parsley
1 cup of vegan bread, toasted and chopped into cubes

In a pan heat oil, add garlic and onions, saute for about 2-3 minutes.
Add chickpeas, let them toast well on all sides stirring about every 4 minutes or so
Add vegetable broth, squash, tomatoes, and herbs. Bring to a boil.
Boil for about 7-10 minutes, until squash is soft, stirring occasionally.
Turn off heat and stir in bread.

Soup about to boil


Southern Savory

So, despite my absence from posting recipes as of late, I am, in fact, still eating. In fact, eating so much that I haven't had time to post blogs. It is the holiday season, after all. Really, though, what else is there to do when you have a blizzard brewing outside? There's only so many books you can read, presents you can wrap, and house to be cleaned. Therefore, I've been cooking up something of a storm (as us fine Appalachian folk would say). To rekindle my blogging inspiration this post will describe a deliciously savory holiday-style southern feast, complete with a perfectly holiday squash dessert crisp. So grab your pots, pans, baking dishes and enjoy!

Savory Vegan Nut Roast with Hearty Mushroom Gravy

Roast Ingredients:
Oil for frying
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of flour
1 1/4 cup of vegetable stock
1 1/2 cup of finely chopped nuts of your choice (I used almonds, walnuts, and cashews)
3 cups of breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon of soy/tamari sauce
1/2 teaspoon each of sage, thyme, parsley
1 cup of mushrooms, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
extra flour to coat
extra vegetable stock to baste

Fry onion, garlic, and mushrooms.
Sprinkle flour on top of this, add vegetable stock, and boil.
Turn this down to a simmer, stir in nuts, breadcrumbs, soy/tamari sauce, and seasoning herbs and salt and pepper
Shape into a loaf on a floured board, then coat the top with flour
Place in a baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, basting with additional vegetable stock about every 10 minutes

Mushroom Gravy Ingredients:
(note: this recipe comes from an AMAZING book called "Country Wisdom and Know How: Everything You Need to Know to Live Off the Land." In fact, it is so useful that everyone should have a copy of this book.)

3 tablespoons of butter (I use vegan butter)
1 small onion, diced
2 1/2 cups of mushrooms, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
garlic salt
liquid smoke
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a pan, then add onion and mushrooms.
Saute for about 2-3 minutes
Add flour and mix well
Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring frequently
Remove from heat, and add half of the gravy over the nut roast in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Serve the rest on the side for additional gravy

Southern Style Mashed Turnips
1 large turnip (you can find some really good, large turnips at your local farmer's market!)
salt and pepper
3 strips of Vegan/Vegetarian bacon
liquid smoke

Wash and cut the turnip up into small cubes
Boil for about 10 minutes, or until tender
While the turnip is boiling, heat some oil in a frying pan and add your veggie bacon
Season the bacon with salt, pepper, and liquid smoke (on both sides)
Once your bacon is well cooked, remove it from heat and set it aside.
Once your turnips are soft, drain them, and mash them. Add the bacon, salt and pepper, and liquid smoke to taste.

You can find additional Southern-style side dishes here. In this meal, I also had collard greens, but really you could use any side that you want.

Roast, turnips, and collards! 
Now, time for a savory winter squash dessert:

Savory Fall Crisp

2 apples, washed, peeled, and sliced
1 cup of pumpkin , peeled and cubed   (note: do not used canned pumpkin or pumpkin mush, you will actually have to buy a whole pumpkin and cut it up yourself, on the bright side this will give you plenty of seeds to start your pumpkin patch with next year)
1/2 cup of sweet dumpling squash, peeled and cubed (farmer's markets have a great selection of local sweet dumpling squash!)
1/2 cup of raisins
1 cup of flour
1 cup of oats
1 cup of white sugar
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of butter (as always, I use vegan butter)
1/4 cup of water
cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice

Place the apples, pumpkin, squash, and raisins in a lightly greased baking dish (make sure to mix them up well)
Mix about 1 tablespoon of flour with the white sugar, add cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice (to your preference) and then place this over the apple mixture in the pan.
Add the water, making sure it is spread evenly over all of the apples/pumpkin/squash
Now, in a separate bowl mix the rest of the flour, the oats, and the brown sugar. Cut the butter in, until it is well mixed and has a crumbly texture.
Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the apples/squash/raisins and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.